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Showing posts from February, 2019

When Did the Social Network Become Less About Being Social?

Should we start regulating social media?

The Forbes article "Do We Really Need to Start Regulating Social Media?", by Andrew Arnold, discusses the concerns people have over laws that regulate social media. The article explores multiple perspectives, such as the importance of regulating to prevent large companies from controlling the information accessible. However, those against regulating social media suggest it won't do any good, only stifle the exchange of ideas.

I think the concern boils down to too much of anything isn't a good thing. Too much regulation runs the risk of being more totalitarian, and not enough regulation allows for governments to be overly controlling in a negative way.  The article says it best: "Hopefully when the powers that be discuss regulation, common sense will prevail."

Reclaiming the Fourth Estate-Week 4

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During last week's class, we talked about "speaking truth to power"-speaking your truth...taking a risk...knowing your truth may not be the popular opinion...standing for something.

I think we may have lost this. I'm overgeneralizing for sure; there are most definitely people who speak their truth. But I'm talking about as a whole. We're afraid or hesitant to speak our truth and fear retribution. But who is it we fear? And why?

As we were talking about this, I kept thinking back to Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom"--one of my all time favorite shows! It's the story of a cable news station that revolutionizes the way they do the news. But in reality, they're not revolutionizing anything-simply going back to how the news used to be done...the right way.

In the first episode, one scene entails the executive producer talking to the anchor about "speaking truth to stupid" and asking "is there something bigger we want to reach for o…

If I Won't WebMD it-Don't WebMD Me!

As of now, I want to center my contribution to our Field Guide for surviving the darkness around today's youth. Being a teacher, I find this idea of digital surveillance fascinating, but also discouraging in terms of how to teach my students. They only care about the latest music or what Youtuber said what this week. I struggle with finding the words to make them care about this issue, as they need to be aware of it. 
During my research on how best to discuss this with them, I came across a New York times article, titled "How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health", by Natasha Singer. This article brought up the idea of digital phenotyping: when a source, such as Facebook, tries to assess someone's physical or mental well-being based on their digital habits. 
According to the article, through tracking the amount of times a person touches their phone to the types of interactions they have online, this field is aiming to assess suicidal thoughts, detec…

Two Truths and a Lie-Week 4

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Two Truths and a Lie: a game we have all played at one point or another. It's a common ice breaker used amongst teachers and professionals to foster comraderie and a sense of team. 

Each person has to come up with two things about themselves that are true and one that isn't. After sharing all three facts, the remaining players need to guess which one is the lie, in the hopes of all sharing a laugh.
I hate this game. I hated it in school, I hated it during sorority recruitment, and I hated it during professional development workshops. 
I hate it even more when I have to figure out the truths and lies on the internet.
As a teacher, I do my best to prepare my students for evaluating sources on the internet. Yet the problem is that this world is evolving faster than I can teach them and there is so much more they need to know.

Illuminating the Darkness one nightlight at a time!

In Network Narratives, our class discussions and work is being culminated into a Field Guide at the end of the semester. This is a guide to navigating our way through the darkness and into the light of this digital age we are in, and continuing to learn about.

My passion for the work I plan to contribute may grow and evolve, but at this stage, my primary concern is preparing my students for the world they are inheriting. I want them to be safe and learn to protect themselves. But in the ever increasing digital world, a world that is literally all they've ever known, how do I bring them into the light?
The article, "Be True to Your School: Protecting Student Privacy in the Digital Age" , the Journal of High Technology Law explores just that. The article discusses the use of technology in the classroom. There's no doubt about the benefits of technology, or the importance of it. Students are typing essays rather than writing them in cursive. Parent communication is immedi…

Breaking News: Big Foot Is Real!

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But in this case....I'm referring to our online presence! Not the North American folktale. 

Alchemy: Is the chemistry there?

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In class last week, we practiced using the tool Hypothes.is...which I am obsessed with and seriously considering bringing into my eighth grade classroom, provided I trust my students enough to write comments that would make my grandmother blush and warrant a trip down to our VP of discipline...any who...I love Hypothes.is and really enjoyed reading about the history of alchemy!

I'm new to the idea of digital alchemy but am becoming more and more familiar with the metaphor. As I mentioned last week, my knowledge of alchemy extended only as the notion of mixing potions and what would have been referred to as witchcraft. I found it interesting to learn how far back the history of alchemy went, but more interesting, that it continued into the 1900s. I also found it interesting that the Catholic church supported alchemy, until they didn't. Not to get religious, but there is so much about the church that confuses me. In a religion that requires spiritual belief and suspending your di…